tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC May 9, 2012 10:00am-11:00am PDT
joe lieberman, and the passage of power. he has devoted four decades to the life of lbj. robert caro with the fourth installment of his epic biography on lyndon johnson. plus, the never before heard details of what happened in this iconic picture. and a late-night defense of that late-night endorsement. >> we decided to put it out late at night so it would be sort of the first thing people see in the morning. >> okay. >> and you know -- >> because it was kind of buried. it was 16 paragraphs and it was a 13th paragraph, oh, by the way, this mitt romney romney fella -- >> no, no, no. >> i'm andrea mitchell live in new york. in our "daily fix," he voted with ronald reagan more than any other senator, but lugar is now kicked out. his tea party-backed opponent won by more than 20 points. senate icon did not go gently into the night, releasing a statement blasting the erosion of the political center.
with postpolitics.com, and mark halperin is an msnbc contributor and with "time" magazine. chris, we're going to talk about lugar in a moment, but stand by because i want your take on this as well. mark halperin, you're reporting a lot of signals, the canceled briefing by the white house by jay carney. they know they're going toward hollywood. they have this big event with george clooney. they're going to face so many of their married gay supporters in l.a. tomorrow. we see that there may be an announcement coming out of the white house today. >> every expectation that we will within the next hour be in a different world where we have a president of the united states who supports the legalization of gay marriage. he's doing an interview with robin roberts at abc, someone he's done many interviews with in the past. the vice president i think forced his hand. but even before the vice president spoke on "meet the press" in favor of gay marriage, the president i think was headed in this direction before the election. there was a lot of speculation he'd wait until after he was re-elected or lost, but i think the people around him all felt that there was going to come a
time when he needed to do this. it's where everyone, almost everyone who works for him is, i think, and a lot of people who have observed him over the years think that's where his heart is. and i believe when he does it, although there will be a lot of speculation with political implications, it's just as likely to help him win re-election than hurt him. >> what about, though, north carolina? we've been talking about this and the fact, chris alyssa, that they were looking at virginia, north carolina. in fact, the declining support specifically in that state as well for gay marriage and the opposition, which we saw in the voting yesterday. >> yeah, you know, andrea, points of gay marriage will point out that it's come on to the ballot, actually on the ballot 30-plus times. every time something like that's come on the ballot, the banning gay marriage position has won. now, i'm always a little bit skeptical only because, typically -- and california's prop 8 is an exception -- but typically, these are kind of low-information votes.
initiative and referendum usually don't have that much spent behind him. people aren't totally sure. the wording can be confusing. taking it as a simple, okay, people don't like gay marriage, i don't think it's that easy. i would say, though, the totality of the votes do suggest that there is political risk here. i would argue with mark, and i try not to do this, especially with best-selling political authors, but i would say that there are real dangers inherent in president obama if he does come out in support of gay marriage. i do think that certainly all the optics look like that's where it's headed. but the totality of those votes, including north carolina yesterday, i don't think you can simply snip it. i do think there is something there. how big it is, we don't know. >> now it was clear when i interviewed stephanie cutter two days ago that she and other members of the team were very uncomfortable. they were aggressively defending the president's stance, trying to say that what joe biden said
is not at all different than what the president said. but mark, there clearly were differenc differences. many of them privately acknowledged that. as you point out, were not comfortable with where the president was. even in the audacity of hope, he signaled back then that as an elected official, as a christian, he may some day regret taking that position on what many people feel is an inherent civil right. >> and for many of the president's supporters and advisers, the great civil rights issue of our time. chris is right, there are huge political risks taking this position and they're clear. and public opinion has moved faster on this than almost anything i remember in my career, but it's still probably on that a losing issue, but it will energize young voters and a lot of the president's financial supporters. and i think the biggest issue here is, if republicans go after this hard, now, they'll do it in a microtargeting way if the president changes his position. if mitt romney tries to make this a big issue it takes them off the economy. if this election is fought not
on the economy, that's better for the president, and i think republicans will see that. i don't think this will be a huge issue in the election. >> mitt romney was asked about it today and wouldn't respond to questions about gay marriage. chris cillizza, is the president opening himself up to the charges that he's flip-flopping, which is one of their best arguments, they believe, against mitt romney, by changing position today? >> well, sure, i think he is, but i think mark's right. i think too much of a good thing is not always wonderful. you know, republicans may see opportunity here, but mark is 100% right, that what mitt romney and the republicans should be talking about every single day is the economy and asking that, are you better off economically today than you were four years ago. social issues -- we saw this in the last couple months of the 2012 republican presidential primary -- social issues do not help mitt romney with that independent, suburban women vote. in fact, it hurts him.
now, gay marriage is more complicated, certainly, than maybe abortion or contraception, but it takes another social issue that i don't think ultimately the romney campaign is not going to base their case against barack obama around, his evolution flip-flop, call it what you will, on gay marriage. and if they do, you're probably looking at a second term for barack obama. >> you've got north carolina overwhelmingly voting for a constitutional amendment, a ban not only on gay marriage, but on civil unions, on partnerships. this is the venue for their nominating convention, which is two months from now, mark. >> in a state the president won last time and he'd like to keep in play. governor romney did dodge the question on a rope line but he did an interview with a local affiliate in denver today and said he was against gay marriage and even civil unions if they constitute marriage in everything but name. again, if you look at the shift on public opinion -- and david axelrod talked about this the other day -- they are going to, i believe, based on my reporting, they're going to go hard at this issue.
if republicans make it an issue, they will go after mitt romney on his stance, and they will say he's against gay rights across the board. and for a lot of younger voters and a lot of swing state voters -- >> this is an energizing, motivating issue. >> and it could paint mitt romney to the right. again, the whole game for the obama campaign is keep it off the economy, the president's record. make it about defining mitt romney. they think they can define mitt romney as out of step with modern views, out of step with tolerance on this issue, if he wants to make a fight out of it. >> and you know, andrea, just quickly, i agree with everything mark just said. one other thing. remember, what is one of the most prominent opponents of gay marriage in this country? the mormon church. they were the huge funder of the california prop 8 against prop 8 initiative. >> exactly. >> reminding people in a very subtle way, they don't forget, this guy's a mormon. >> all you have to say is that dick cheney believes in it, but mitt romney does not. thank you very much to both mark halperin, keep us honest on your
reporting. thanks for the advance insight into the thinking at the white house now. and chris cillizza, thank you very much. the man republicans nominated to run for dick lugar's senate seat could not be more different than the man he hopes to replace. look at how richard mourdock defined bipartisanship to chuck todd this morning on "the daily rundown." >> bipartisanship ought to consist of democrats coming to the republican point of view. we entered this campaign wanting to be a voice and hoping to give more of a national voice to the idea that republicans and more specifically, conservatives, would be in the majority of the united states senate and the house, and hopefully, that we have a republican in the white house. if we do that, bipartisanship means they have to come our way. to me, the highlight of politics, frankly, is to inflict my opinion on someone else on a microphone or in front of a camera to win them over to my point of view. >> inflict my opinion on someone else. joining me now, former new jersey senator bill bradley, managing director of allen & company and author of "we can
all do better," available in stores and online now. senator, so great to see you again. when you left the senate in 1996, it seemed as though you were breaking new ground. you were saying this place doesn't work. how much worse is it today? let me just put it out there. dick lugar, i've known him since he was mayor of indianapolis. we think back to the philippines, to ferdinand marco, the role he took in apartheid, moving the reagan administration in different directions, non-proliferati non-proliferation. now he's being punished, partly for not living in his state or having a home address and driver's license and all of that. but he's being punished for working across the aisle. >> i think it's a great loss for the country. i think dick lugar was one of the finest senators that i served with in my 18 years in the united states senate. and i think it indicates the further radicalization of the republican party. if there's no place in the
republican party for dick lugar, then i personally think that you're going to see a real change in the politics of our time. for example, if you -- there are times in american history where political points of view are irreconcilable, such as right before the civil war. but usually, what happens is one of three things -- either you wipe the floor with the other party, you get a dominant majority, or you have a close majority, and that's when bipartisanship takes place if you want to make things happen. that was my 18 years in the united states senate. or there's an emergence of a third party. and i personally think that the american people are so upset by lack of progress, on what happens to middle-income families and their income, on the deficit and on the foreign wars that we seem to be in constantly, that there could be the emergence of a congressional third party, not a presidential,
not a nader and a perot, but a congressional third party dedicated to three or four objectives. they win 20 seats, they're at the fulcrom of power, they make trades, and the agenda of the american people will be addressed by them essentially shaking up this process. >> you are the person who helped shape the great compromise on tax reform in 1986 between ronald reagan and tip o'neill, a bipartisan compromise, the most sweeping tax reform. it took years of work, really, to get it done. but you're talking about the possibility of a third party or independents. joe lieberman, whom we're going to interview in a few moments, is leaving the senate. and we have olympia snowe leaving the senate. you've got people who are more inclined to work across the aisle actually being driven out. >> yeah, but see, this is not going to happen with a few senators or congresspeople. >> it has to be a larger movement. >> this has got to be a citizen monkment. if you look at anything that's
happened in america of significance, whether it's the abolitionist or the suffrages or the civil rights workers or the environmentalis environmentalists, it started with one person and then 10, then 20. in the book, i analogize american democracy to the mississippi river. started with one drop, two drops, a branch, a creek, one river, three rivers, then the giant river. and that's what happens with public opinion in america. sometimes it takes long. there was a time where, for example, senators were elected by corrupt state legislators. a constitutional amendment went into effect and now they're elected by the people. i think a constitutional amendment dealing with money in politics is the next big item, because i think that there are structural problems in our democracy. one is the amount of money that's in politics, and second is the way we draw congressional district lines that increases a kind of extremist. >> polarity. what do we do about this redistricting problem? because it's done now increasingly in state
legislatures who are really one party. >> well, i think california has a very interesting approach. let's give it to a citizen commission. i think it should be requiring districts to be as contiguous as possible so you don't have these spaghetti districts. but i'm in a 60/40 district. i don't even have to listen to republicans. identify got to worry about a challenge on my left. same for republicans, a challenge on the right. and the fact of the matter is, there's a tea party now. so the challenge is on the right. if you think about the tea party, as i talk about in the book, the tea party had a very specific objective -- roll back government. you heard that from senator-elect mourdock today. roll back government. and it made a decision, electoral involvement, win seats. they won 43 congressional seats in 2010. so when barack obama and john boehner got an agreement in principal for a $3 trillion deficit reduction package, it was the 43 tea party republicans in the republican caucus that prevented that from happening
and brought this country to the brink of bankruptcy. that's how quickly things can change. people say it never changes? it already has changed in the last three years. you've had a radicalization of the republican party. >> we had a debate over a debt ceiling which had never been debated and practically brought the country to its knees. >> well, it always is debated and there are a few people who demagogue it and get their votes and they go home, but it always passed with bipartisan support. and you contrast occupy, however, with tea party with occu occupy. occupy had a great slogan, we're the 99%, and they called attention to an important issue, income inequality, but they had no specific legislative objective and they chose not to get into politics, not to affect congressional or senate races. and that meant they chose not to have their hands on the levers of power. so in this kind of situation, you see the tea party is active and is making a difference for their constituents. and the thing to remember is what happened in the 1960s.
in the 1960s, you had dr. martin luther king jr., who had the dream, had the moral force and moved the civil rights agenda. but you needed a lyndon johnson who knew how to pull the levers of power in order to make that a reality permanently in america. >> perfect segue. of course, we're introducing robert caro later this hour, so thank you so much. great to see you again, senator. >> great to be with you. >> thank you. up next, new details on that double agent in the yemen bomb plot. and still ahead, pulitzer prize-winning biographer robert caro, unraveling the mysteries of lyndon johnson. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. ♪
lugar had an approach to the senate and to governing that was always the same. >> john kerry on the senate floor. he called it a tragedy, the defeat of dick lugar. joining me now, joe lieberman, another colleague of senator lugar's. you're an independent. you've had your own difficulties within your party. >> yes. >> you must be relating, empathizing with what happened to senator lugar. some are saying it's his own fault, he didn't have a residence, a legal residence. he let that become an issue. it's hard not to recall, though, his decades of service in foreign relations. >> yeah. most of all, i think we should celebrate and honor the service of dick lugar. he was a real internationalist, a thoughtful internationalist, and really rose above partisanship when he was involved in foreign policy. so, defeat is painful for any of us in this profession, but i
think dick lugar should be comforted with the confidence that he built a tremendous legacy of service and accomplishment over the years. look, there's a program called the nunn/lugar program. sam nunn and dick lugar worked together after the end of the soviet union, it's a greater program, to support essentially the safe destruction of a lot of what was the nuclear chemical, biological arsenal that the old soviet union had pointed at us. about the election, yeah, you know, i was there in 2006. and while there are always local factors that are at play, such as the one you mentioned, andrea, about dick lugar's residence. i mean, the fact is that primaries don't favor moderates. and yet, the country needs moderates who will reject not only the extremes of each side but the partisanship and compromise to get something done. so, it's a loss for the country, i think. >> now, as well, we're reporting
breaking news that we expect that the president within the hour is going to do an interview and actually endorse gay marriage, that he has evolved. we expect that he will have more to say about his evolution. you and senator collins led the way on getting don't ask, don't tell repealed. how important do you think it is for the president and for the party to endorse gay marriage and be consistent on this policy? >> yeah. i have been involved in a lot of civil rights movements since i was a kid, and i'm very proud of the role that i played in advancing protections for the civil rights of americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, including the don't ask, don't tell. personally, i don't favor same-sex marriage, that is making it legal. because i think the term marriage ought to be reserved for traditional heterosexual
marriage. but i do support civil unions, which i think creates a legal reality to the long-term relationships that gay and lesbian americans have and protects their legal rights in those relationships. so -- >> senator, if you don't support gay marriage, do you think that the president taking this position, if he does take the position as we expect, is going to further divide the party? what is the political ramification of it? >> my guess is that within the democratic party, most people support legalizing same-sex marriage. it's probably a controversial position for him to take overall in this election year, though the public opinion polls seem to say the public is much more accepting of same-sex marriage than they used to be. most of all, the president's got to do what he believes in his heart and head is right. he said up until now that his position was evolving. i think most of us felt that at some point he would endorse the legalization, that is, the equalization of same-sex marriage, and if that's what
he's going to do, i respect him for having the guts to say what he believes. >> now, my colleague, pete williams, is reporting that law enforcement officials are looking into an investigation into the leaks about the intelligence operation that we now learned involved a double age agent, saudi help, help from yemen to track down this updated version of the underwear bomb. what do you know about that? you just came from saudi arabia. were you aware of the plot and what do you think about the way it has been explained publicly? >> right. yeah, no, i visited saudi arabia last week, mostly to talk about our common, our shared interests in stopping the slaughter of the innocent people of syria and giving the opposition some help, but i didn't hear about this at all. in fact, the first i heard about it, like everybody else in congress, was after the original story came out.
so, what i know for sure is that there was an explosive device. we did seize it. beyond that -- and i gather that it's true that the saudis helped us. i'm not surprised. they basically declared war against al qaeda, including particularly al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, headquartered in yemen. the saudis have given us a lot of help in our counterterrorism work, and i'm grateful to them for doing that. i'll tell you, this is one of those situations where i think the less said, the better. i presume that the latest leaks about this case being successful, because of a double agent, are true, but we don't even know for sure that that's true. i hope in the next day or two to get more brief. >> you're the chairman of homeland security. as far as you know at this point, what do we know about tsa and whether this bomb, as designed, could have gotten past our screenings? >> what i have heard -- and it's
not definitive -- is that it would have been difficult for this bomb to get by the whole-body imagers that we have in our major airports and others around the country. but the fbi analysis of the bomb is still going on. and i think until that's done, we won't know definitively. i think the leaks are so important in this case and so negative, it could have compromised the whole operation and individuals courageously involved in it that i hope the administration will conduct an investigation, because these leaks, though we're fascinated by knowing about this case, and the public is, too, the leaks don't help our national security. in fact, they hurt it. >> well, the administration's point of view is that this is an individual who might have been useful -- he could have been reinserted back into al qaeda, and now, of course, he can't be, and al qaeda -- >> that is absolutely right. that's absolutely right.
and of course, if nothing else, we know from this case that al qaeda and al qaeda in the arabian peninsula particularly continues to be looking for opportunities to kill innocent americans. and the hero of a double agent, assuming this is true, heroism of this double agent just has to be deeply appreciated. and the best way to appreciate it would have been to keep this story classified. i hope it doesn't happen again this way. >> thank you. thanks very much, senator. >> thank you, andrea. be well. >> you, too. and up next, the political briefing, tea party power, and still ahead, lbj's rise to power with author robert caro. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] this is corporate caterers, miami, florida. in here, great food demands a great presentation. so at&t showed corporate caterers how to better collaborate by using a mobile solution, in a whole new way. using real-time photo sharing abilities, they can create and maintain high standards, from kitchen to table. this technology allows us to collaborate with our drivers
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and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit celebrex.com and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion. in today's "political briefing," don't count out the tea party yet. with a huge win by their preferred republican candidate in indiana, the tea party is shifting its focus to a primary challenge to longtime senator
orrin hatch. maggie, thank you so much for being here. orrin hatch had sort of gotten by the first test, unlike his colleague, bob bennett, who had lost even getting the nomination. >> that's right. >> but now it's a runoff. this is the utah system. >> yeah. >> and the tea party is really going after him. >> it's complicated and it is not a great moment for him. as you say, he's certainly in better shape than bennett was, obviously, much better shape today than dick lugar is. but this is not where he would like to be. i think that, you know, you have a series of establishment republicans who are going to be made sort of ineffective, at least for the month that he is having this primary fight going on. i think it is less likely the tea party would be successful there, but they are going to do everything they can to try to take him out. >> with dick lugar, he had such a stellar record, and yet, he was punished for being a friend of president obama. he said in his farewell message that that was overhyped, even though he had accompanied this freshman senator on his first foreign trip to russia and had
kind of mentored him in the senate foreign relations committee. i recall, you know, years and years of his activity, of course with sam nunn and others. at the same time, he failed to heed the warnings. he refused to change his positions. and mostly for not having the home address thing straightened out. that became a quick bumper sticker. >> i think that's right. i think if you're looking at what hurt him, there's no question there were two factors at play. there was the national factor which you're pointing to, where he was, indeed punished, but there were basics of campaign 101, where you do need to work hard for your seat at this point. you're seeing my colleague write about this today. all of these senators coming up in 2014 are doing what they can to avoid becoming the next dick lugar, but that basically just means stumping in your home state and being in touch with the voters. >> i heard ed rendell on "now with alex wagner" referring to the fact that rick santorum was punished in his bid, his challenge against bob casey.
>> that's right. >> because he was getting benefits from pennsylvania but schooling his kids in virginia. >> that's right. it's a very similar situation. it's sort of you have this sense of sort of becoming part of the establishment, not really giving back, not being in touch with the state. and again, i think that dick lugar actually probably could have held his seat had he tried harder. we'll obviously never know and we will never know how much of this is the tea party versus specific factors to his own race. but there is a sense this possibly didn't have to go this way, but he doesn't feel that way and he made that clear. >> it was a really passionate statement. >> yes, very. >> maggie haberman, thanks. >> thank you. up next, the real story. what happened on that day in dallas with lbj biographer robert caro. wake up!
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double-dip recession. >> my government's legislative program will focus on economic growth, justice and constitutional reform. my minister's first priority will be to reduce the deficit and restore economic stability. >> the queen is also calling for reforms in the 700-year-old house of commons as part of her legislative program. and an update on mark kirk's health from the senator himself. in a web video, the indiana freshman discusses an intense rehab process from his stroke. he had a message for the men and women he represents. >> i'm walking again, leading to my hope to climb the 45 steps that my staff counted from the parking lot to the senate front door to fight for the people of illinois. >> a portrait in courage there. lyndon johnson had always envisioned himself as president,
as command gler chief. but in the early fall of 1963, he was in political limbo, mistrusted by the kennedys and his aides, who ridiculed him with the name rufus cornpoen. then he was suddenly invested with all the powers he had sought. the moment when lyndon baines johnson was sworn in as america's 36th president is at the heart of a fourth installment of an epic series "the years of lyndon johnson: the passage of power." author, historian robert caro, has been working on this for only 40 years, and joins me now. it is such a privilege, such a pleasure. i have to tell you that as a young journalist, i read "the power broker," the robert moses book, and ended up teaching it in an urban studies class that i was teaching in philadelphia as the perfect example of how power can corrupt the soul. so, i've been wanting to meet you for only 40 years. it's great to even see you this
way. tell us about, set the stage for how lyndon johnson was so, really abused by the kennedys, by the white house staff, as vice president in 1963, and then of course, going into dallas. >> well, you know, jackie kennedy once wrote ted sorensen, jack kennedy's speech writer "you must know how frightened my husband became that lyndon johnson might become president one day" that was after the cuban missile process while the kennedys were trying defuse the crisis and prevent a nuclear confrontation with russia really frightened them. as you say, they called him rufus cornpone. they looked down on him. the joke in georgetown was, whatever happened to lyndon johnson? because they thought they had put him out to pasture. >> and it's really stunning to read that in parkland hospital, after the assassination, we know now that the president was already dead.
>> yes. >> the vice president was standing alone in a corridor. nobody was paying any attention to him. nobody gave him the courtesy of giving him updates. and you write that "as johnson stood in front of that blank wall, a carnation still in his buttonhole, there was a stillness about him, an immobility, a composure that hadn't been seen very much during the past three years. though he had been for those years restless, unable to sit still, unable to keep his mind on one subject, unable to stop talking, he wasn't restless in that little room." and then finally, i guess it was kenny o'donnell who came and told him that he was going to be the president. >> yes, yes. think of what led up to that. you're in the motorcade. johnson is two cars behind president kennedy. there's the crack of a gunshot. some people think it's a motorcycle backfire. some people think it's a firecracker. but the secret service agent in the front seat of johnson's car is a hunter. he says he knows it's a hunting rifle. and at that instant, he sees president kennedy start to slump
to the left. he whirls around, grabs lyndon johnson's shoulder, throws him to the floor of the back seat, jumps over the front seat and lies on top of him as the cars start to speed off to the hospital. johnson was later to say, "i'll never forget his knees in my back" and elbows in my back. and the agent, rufus, says to johnson, when we get to that hospital, don't stop and look at anything. we're going to get you to a safe place. so, as the car stopped, johnson doesn't even have a chance to look in kennedy's car, where, in fact, the president is lying in a pool of blood on the back seat. hands lift him out of the car, four agents rush him through the corridors. another agent is running behind him with an assault rifle. found one after another until they find the cubicle you were talking about. they put johnson in there. the agent is standing in front of him. in the room between that and the corridor are two other agents and in front of that, a secret
service agent who says don't let anybody pass you unless you know theirs face. and that's where johnson is standing for 40 minutes. >> it's really extraordinary the way you describe it, the detail. you bring it all to life again, those horrible, horrible moments. >> thanks. >> then the critical decisions. he insists on waiting for jackie kennedy, waiting for the coffin, rather than going directly back -- >> to the hospital. >> back to washington. >> to washington. >> that really, that was a political decision, it was a constitutional decision. we didn't know how wide the conspiracy was. but how much was wanting to invest himself as he orchestrated that moment where the swearing-in took place, the oath of office was done in the back of 26,000 then air force one, the 707? how much was his wanting, as you describe it, evelyn lincoln, known to be jfk's personal secretary, jackie kennedy, the widow, wanting them all around him in the picture that was going to be sent around the
world? >> well, that was part of it. you know, with lyndon johnson, i write "everything is partly politic political, but there's always something personal." he was standing, as you said, in this room for 40 minutes. no one would bring him any word of how kennedy really is. he sends out to ask, and he's brought back word the doctors are still working on the president. and then, as ladybird wrote, kenny o'donnell, as you say, came into the room. ladybird wrote "seeing the stricken face of kenny o'donnell, who loved him, we knew." a moment later, another kennedy assistant comes into the room and says to lyndon johnson, "mr. president." it's the first time anyone's called him that. but he has to make decisions immediately, and the decisions you're talking about he makes immediately. they say we've got to get you back to the plane, take off and get back to washington. and he says i'm not going without mrs. kennedy. they say she won't go without her husband's body. and lyndon johnson says, well, then i'm not going until she and the coffin are aboard. in a way, that's a humanitarian
thing. you're not leaving her behind. in a way, it's just what you've described, a political thing. he wants jackie kennedy beside him in the photograph as a symbol of continuity, one administration going into the other. and he wants the other kennedy people around him. and he sends out to the front cabin to have his secretaries brought in, like evelyn lincoln. >> i'm really struck also by the disparity between robert kennedy's recollection and lbj's of what happened with that phone call. lbj has options. he's on that plane. it's a small plane. but he goes into the kennedy bedroom to make that call to bobby kennedy, stretches out on that bed and calls bobby kennedy, who had only 31 minutes earlier learned that his brother was dead. >> yes. >> and he insists, johnson insists on calling him to ask for advice about the swearing-in and the transition of power because he's the attorney general. >> yes. >> they had such a complicated,
hateful relationship. what inspired him to do that? and how did that then poison bobby kennedy's reactions? >> that's a great question and complicated to answer. you know, the two of them, as a historian, andrea, you hate to use words like hatred, but that's not too strong a word to use in the relationship between bobby kennedy and lyndon johnson. they hated each other. and the fact -- you know, bobby kennedy gets this news at his estate, at his home, hickory hill. he's having lunch by the swimming pool with his wife, evelyn, robert morganthorpe of new york, and suddenly, they see a painter who is painting the house clap a transistor radio to his ear with a look of horror and come running down the lawn toward the swimming pool. at that instant, the telephone rings. ethel picks it up and it's j. edgar hoover to tell bobby kennedy that his brother is
dead. 31 minutes later, the man he hated is on the telephone asking him for the formalities of how to assume his brother's office, questions which, as kennedy's assistant, nicholas castleback told me, any 1 of 100 officials could have answered. i could have answered it. why did lyndon johnson make that ca call? you might say, you know, you don't really know, but it's a call that's so fraught with human emotion. lyndon johnson's secretary, a woman named marie famer, gets on the phone to take down the words of the oath as kennedy and castenback are giving it to her. she says i said to her what were their voices like? she said, catsenback's was like steel, bobby's wasn't when he started. i kept thinking you shouldn't be doing this. castenback said that the fact johnson called robert kennedy in that moment is just appalling. >> it is an amazing book, the
detail. i'm just, you know -- it's a big book. i'm just getting through it. i can't wait to keep reading. you are the most gripping biographer of our day. >> thank you. >> and thank you. thank you so much. and we look forward to, of course, the next installment, which is all about him embracing jfk's legacy and the passage of civil rights. >> thanks. >> so, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> robert caro. up next, the showdown over women's health with planned parenthood's cecile richards. and on a budget. like a ramen noodle- every-night budget. she thought allstate car insurance was out of her reach. until she heard about the value plan. dollar for dollar, nobody protects you like allstate. more than 50 times a day? so brighten your smile a healthy way with listerine® whitening plus restoring rinse. it's the only rinse that makes your teeth two shades whiter and two times stronger. ♪
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at i am proheart on facebook. [ male announcer ] learn how to protect your heart free-credit-score-dot-com'sur boargonna direct you ♪ts ♪ ♪ to check your credit score before it gets too late ♪ ♪ and you end up strapped for cash ♪ ♪ patching your board with duct tape ♪ ♪ so hit free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ find out what credit's about ♪ ♪ or else you could be headed for a credit wipeout ♪ offer applies with enrollment in freecreditscore.com™. another blow against planned parenthood. latest setback, arizona. governor jan brewer has signed into law legislation banning public funding to groups that also separately provide abortions. a similar law in texas was recently rejected by a federal appeals court. joining me now is planned parenthood action fund president cecile richards. hey, cecile, thanks so much for being with us.
>> sure. >> what are the options? are you going to go to court to try to overturn the arizona law? >> well, andrea, thanks for having me on. i can't believe we keep talking options. the bill was just signed last week. it is extraordinary to me in the state of arizona where actually planned parenthood was a co-founded by peggy gold water, strong republican support, and that in fact the governor has decided to sign a bill that would now potentially eliminate services, preventive care services for 4,000 women in the state of arizona. >> of course as you have been pointing out abortion services are 3% of what planned parenthood does. explain to viewers again what it is that -- what's at stake here for women? terms of preventive health and screenings? >> absolutely. we're the largest women's health care provider in the country. we provide 3 million women with service it is every single year. we're the 90% of our services are preventive care. last year we provided birth control to more than 2 million
people. we about did 750,000 breast exams and the same number of smears for women. for so many women it is their only health care provider and the only doctor visit they'll have all year. the thing that is most disturbing and frankly what mr. romney is pledging to do in the country is we're talking about ending preventive care for women. that is literally services that help prevent unintended pregnancy or provide early detection and treatment for cancer, and so many women that i am hearing from now cannot believe that at this moment in history we're actually talking about going backwards on access to birth control and preventive cancer screening. >> what is the update, the latest, on your situation with susan g komen for the cure? have you ironed out the difficulties in your current contracts and are there future contracts pending? >> yes. i am very happy to say that planned parenthood is continuing the partnership that we had with
the komen foundation for many years because we do so much early breast cancer screening and education, and thanks to that partnership and also frankly to the outpouring of support we had from women and men across the country, planned parenthood will be doing more breast cancer screening and education this year than ever in our history. that's good for women. women need those services. >> it is good to hear from all sides. thank you very much, cecile. >> absolutely. >> what political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours is next on andrea mitchell reports. and even fewer that make moms happy too. with wholesome noodles and bite sized chicken, nothing brings you together like chicken noodle soup from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. like chicken noodle soup from campbell's. [ whooping ] ♪ it was the best day ♪ it was the best day ♪ ♪ it was the best day ♪ 'cause of you we make a great pair. huh?
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desegregation of the south and we have to go. we're out of time. we'll talk to chris about the political stories of the next 24 coming up in 24 hours. that does it for this addition of andrea mitchell reports. my colleague tamron hal has a look at what's next on news nation. >> we're following breaking news. president obama expected to clarify his views on same sex marriage in a new sit-down interview and reportedly happening right now. politico reports the interview was hastily scheduled and jonathan kaypart will join our panel to talk about it and the man that ran the auto bailout under the obama administration slamming mitt romney's claim that he should get credit for rescuing the auto industry. well, now will romney put the brakes on this claim that has him in hot water? plays a key role throughout our entire lives. ♪ one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin, designed for many of women's health concerns as we age.
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